Race Is On For Masters Spots

Snooker’s williamhill.com UK Championship started today and several players will have one eye on securing a place in the next major tournament: The Masters.



Only the top 16 seeds at the end of the williamhill.com UK Championship will qualify for The Masters. Mark Selby is number one seed as defending champion, followed by Ronnie O’Sullivan as World Champion, and the field will be made up by the next 14 players on the world ranking list.



Joe Perry is currently in line to take the 16th and last spot, but could be overtaken by Ali Carter, Graeme Dott, Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.



The Masters is snooker’s most prestigious invitation event and runs from January 12-19 at Alexandra Palace in London.



Former World Champion Dott said: “I know that if I win matches at the UK then I’ve got a chance of getting into The Masters. I’m in the same section of the draw as Ali Carter so I know I’ve got to get further than him, and then if I do that I’ve got to go past Joe Perry in the rankings as well."



Dott, who reached the semi-finals of the Masters last season, added: “I would love to be there again because it is a great event and Ally Pally is a fantastic venue. I’ve been playing well recently, especially at the International Championship where I got to the semis, so I’ve got some confidence going into York.”



Mark Selby will be defending the title at The Masters, against the world’s leading players. Prize money for the BBC-televised event has been increased to £600,000, with the winner to receive a massive £200,000.



Tickets start at just £10, fantastic value for money. Call 0871 620 7052 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras) or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets



The williamhill.com UK Champions at the York Barbican runs from November 26 to December 8. To book tickets call 0844 854 2757 or visit www.worldsnooker.com/tickets